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Old 03-22-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


Hey there.I checked the attic this morning to see if everything was alright and there's a small spot where the roof is leaking can't even see the hole it's the size of a pinhead.I think it's leaking between the boards.What's the best way or product to seal this leak when there's a foot of snow of the roof.Can I fix this now or will I have to wait until spring.

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


It has to be fixed on the outside, asap.
Where is the leak? At the very lower edge? If so you've most likly got an ice dam caused form lack of air sealing, not enough insulation and or not enough vents.

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


Take some pictures of the leak, and the outside where the leak is, SNow or not. Catch the water with a large new garbage can, (No Holes) wait till the snow melts, and send us the pictures in the meantime. Also take some of the outside with more info like:

1. Is this the first time it leaked?

2. How old is the roof?

3. Is there water stains elsewhere on your rafters, attic floor etc?

4. Any mold on the back of the sheathing?
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
It has to be fixed on the outside, asap.
Where is the leak? At the very lower edge? If so you've most likly got an ice dam caused form lack of air sealing, not enough insulation and or not enough vents.
No it's not at the lower edge at all it's actually quite high up.There was barely a trace of water I could hardly see it, it's as if it had just started.. no water stains, no drips, the wood barely looked wet but when I touched it I could feel it was a little bit damp.I think it might have to do with the fact that the roof is old (20 years maybe more the previous owner didn't know when they had it done) and showing it's age you know with curbed edges on the shingles and the strong winds blew some of them or parts of them away last week. The shingles are dry and cracked and need to be replaced asap that's for sure!I just need to know what to do to fix this at least 'til I get the roofers to come over this spring.
I know it's a pressing matter water damage can do a lot of damage to the house so if I could just fix this before it gets any worse or we get a downpour YIKES!
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:49 PM   #5
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


Please go back and add your location to your profile!
Go to quick links and edit.
Does no good to just mention it in a post.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


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Originally Posted by jagans View Post
Take some pictures of the leak, and the outside where the leak is, SNow or not. Catch the water with a large new garbage can, (No Holes) wait till the snow melts, and send us the pictures in the meantime. Also take some of the outside with more info like:

1. Is this the first time it leaked?

2. How old is the roof?

3. Is there water stains elsewhere on your rafters, attic floor etc?

4. Any mold on the back of the sheathing?
First time, 20 years or more, no water stains anywhere, no mold
There's already a pail there just in case don't worry!The snow won't have time to melt my son will take care of that.As I told the other fella the shingles are old and dry and it's way time to get it done..but it's expensive and with my bad back I can't go up there with my buddies for a diy project I'll leave that for them younger folks
I just want to patch it up (I mean my son will..) but what with? Just for a temporary fix.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:30 PM   #7
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


The roof has a layer of ice under the snow and there is water under the ice layer. The water needs an escape route . A heat trace tape from the eaves edge to the ridge will provide that or your son can do an inch wide channel in the ice layer by mechanical means being careful of the old shingles. And I don't need to know where you live to diagnose the problem and provide a solution.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:26 PM   #8
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


I really would not worry too much, and if the roof is as old as you say, going up there will probably cause more damage than you already have. Just put a large enough container up there, and control the leak till spring. If you are really worried, throw a sump pump with a float switch in a good garbage can and run the hose out the cable end vent. Of course if the leak is obvious, like a bad roof jack or open couterflashing, Fix it temporarily.

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Old 03-23-2013, 08:58 AM   #9
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairview View Post
... A heat trace tape from the eaves edge to the ridge will provide that or your son can do an inch wide channel in the ice layer by mechanical means being careful of the old shingles. And I don't need to know where you live to diagnose the problem and provide a solution.
A heat trace tape? Sorry I don't know what that is.Roofing is not one of my strong points. Have you got a name of a compagny that provides this product? That might help me.Hoping they have this in stock at Rona or Home Depot.
Ya! I didn't think my location was important either or the pictures for that matter... a temporary fix is what I want for now, don't want to start changing shingles or the roof right now it's too darn cold even the roofers aren't working yet.I'll leave it to the roofers to do an extensive job (as soon as I can gather of few thousand $$).So far your idea is the best and sounds like what I'm looking for now if I can just find this product in stores I'll be all set.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:09 AM   #10
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


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Originally Posted by jagans View Post
I really would not worry too much, and if the roof is as old as you say, going up there will probably cause more damage than you already have. Just put a large enough container up there, and control the leak till spring. If you are really worried, throw a sump pump with a float switch in a good garbage can and run the hose out the cable end vent. Of course if the leak is obvious, like a bad roof jack or open couterflashing, Fix it temporarily.

You say you're a roofer, your profile says 'a Profesional Registered Roof consultant for 25yr'
So you'd be the best one to answer my question.I asked what I could do to fix this temporarily and all you provided with was how to cope with the problem... at the end of your answer you say 'fix it temporarily' well.. what with is what I'm asking.A quick fix that will hold up until the roof is redone.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:18 AM   #11
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


There is no magic fix for this.
Short of laying a trap over the whole roof.
The snow, ice, shingles, felt paper need to be removed, new paper layed, new shingles installed.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:50 AM   #12
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


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Originally Posted by Plumber_BJ View Post
A heat trace tape? Sorry I don't know what that is.Roofing is not one of my strong points. Have you got a name of a compagny that provides this product? That might help me.Hoping they have this in stock at Rona or Home Depot.
Just google heat tape electric cable to see examples. It can be purchased at most home stores at fixed lengths for DIY type people or electrical contractors can install it by the foot from a roll they can purchase.

This situation needs to be addressed quickly and for starters you can clear the snow and ice in a small area from the eaves edge up the roof slope to a point above the building line. Sometimes that will release enough water to stop the hydraulic pressure.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:27 AM   #13
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


Here is what you said:

You had one leak in one location, and that was under a foot of snow.
Your roof is at least 20 years old and needs to be replaced.
You said your son is taking the snow off the roof.

From my experience:

1. Extensive damage can be done to even a new roof by someone removing snow from it. An old roof could spring a dozen more leaks from doing so. Also, people fall off dry roofs. Going on a snow covered steep roof is the work of fools.

2. If you only have one point of moisture intrusion, and you are catching the water in the attic and controlling it, collateral damage to the roof deck and structure will not be too bad, especially since the leak only occurred this one time. A new sheet of plywood is not that expensive.

3. Joe is quite correct. There is no magic bullet for a 20 year old or more roof, it has to be removed and replaced, and the only thing you can do is put a tarp over the area where it leaks, probably 20 feet wide and up and over the ridge. Tarps blow off, and can cover vents when they do. Not to even mention what it will look like.

4. My last statement: If the leak is something obvious, like a pipe jack or an open flashing, patch it temporarily, I meant to get through until the roof is replaced which I assumed will be soon. Proper repair is best accomplished by a professional roofer with the right tools.

I was trying to quell your fears, and reduce the stress you are experiencing, as the leak did not sound too bad. You posted no pictures, which is understandable, so we could not comment or offer any opinions regarding what may be the cause, or how to repair your roof.

Lastly, I have done exactly what I recommended you do in situations exactly like yours on large low slope commercial roofs.

Sometimes all you can do is control the bleeding till the battle is over and the medics get there.

Ice melt cable is not used for leaks in the field of the roof, it is used at the eaves where a "cold bridge" condition can exist.
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Last edited by jagans; 03-23-2013 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:44 PM   #14
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


You really need to get the snow off the roof, so that it does not cause issues from any heat escaping into the attic from the living spaces, and also the snow load is not very good for the structure. You need one of these http://www.amazon.com/Garelick-89421...roof+snow+rake which is the same one that my in-laws that live in Land O'Lakes, WI have. Works very good for cleaning off the snow.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:56 AM   #15
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Roof leaking and a foot a snow on roof


As I mentionned before my son was to take care of the snow on the roof and he has done so 2 days ago. Of course I urged him to do it asap.

Still looking for a solution to my problem...anyone?

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